True Happiness

True happiness does not gloat.
It has neither envy nor greed.
True happiness uplifts those around it.
It wants nothing more than for all to feel content.
True happiness is voracious in consuming all hatreds.
It alters the self-loathing we all feel at times, teaching positive vibrations.
True happiness is a conscious effort.
It takes every act of kindness to understand the thought behind it.
True happiness is not obtained by wants or needs.
It is attained by consistently making considerate motions.              
True happiness is not affected by circumstance.
It is meant to be lived as a lifestyle, to be believed in and embraced.
True happiness is not just another out of reach concept.
It is not easy, but it can be accomplished.

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Cycling

I was tired two nights ago–

to the point of exhaustion.

I closed my eyes

and the mania hit,

claiming my brain

from much needed rest.

It was a direct punch

leaving me reeling

bereft and adrift

without the light of the moon.

Today is day three,

I feel great, except

I know it isn’t real

it is exactly how I don’t want to feel.

I would rather feel down,

depressed and dead tired

because even though it kills me

I know that it will end.

I will cycle again into happy,

then sad, angry and excited

all in a moment’s notice

because that is what

being bipolar has become.

 

The Librarian

Maggie gingerly stepped through the large wooden doorway leading to the old librarian’s study. The weathered man wore his brown hair cropped short and neat, contrasted sharply by his unkempt brown robes. He set the aged parchment down on his desk next to a flickering black candle, which had melted down to a nub by the time the young girl walked in.

“Yes, child?” Bernard, the old man, asked in a gentle voice as he examined the timid thirteen year old. Large brown eyes darted about like hummingbirds, searching the room for danger. Wispy brown hair curled about her pale face, several strands escaping the braid it had been forced into that morning.

“Sir, I was just wondering if you were going to retire soon? Kate asked that I help her in the kitchen this evening, and the sun is setting soon,” stuttering rapidly, Maggie pushed her hair back nervously as blue eyes pierced through her over dirty spectacles.

“No, I won’t be ready for quite some time. I’m afraid I’ve got to finish studying this map, I’m expecting a visitor later,” he noticed the large ring Maggie wore on a thin strap of leather around her neck. It was a large silver ring, tarnished to the point that the engravings surrounding the center stone were illegible. Bernard adjusted his glasses then asked, “I think I may need some assistance this evening. Would you be so kind to escort me to my meeting?”

Questioning the old man would be unheard of, instead Maggie politely reminded him, “Sir, I’m meant to be helping Kate prepare for tomorrow’s feast.”

“I’m sure she wouldn’t mind if you assisted me, but you can ask her yourself, she can find another scribe to help her. This place is crawling with them lately,” he grumbled and turned away from Maggie, “run along now, I need you back here within the hour.”

Maggie curtsied slowly before running out of the study to find Kate. In his study, Bernard forgot his scroll for the moment, contemplating the conversation that he had with the young girl. A bit of excitement had caused the girl’s ring to glow and lit her eyes with the same amber color of the stone. He had been hoping this day would come since he stepped over the Tower’s threshold with a squalling baby girl, how convenient that she would show the hint of her true power on the day her father was scheduled to arrive. The man didn’t know she existed, but Bernard could guarantee he would want to know that his only daughter survived the raid that had killed his wife. Now was the time to return home, and the girl would be his redemption.

From Across the Room

I dream of falling

into obsession,

creating a drug of my own–

the worst concoction.

 

The floor of a stomach,

dropping away,

into the depths

of a stranger’s steady gaze.

 

I ripple with unsuccessful seductions,

sending senses scrambling,

as I determined

you could be right for me.

 

It is gathering interest

in that which is irrational,

when logic seems worthy

to be thrown out.

 

It is when heart beats

grow silent wings

first fluttering, then

flying out of reach.

 

There are no answers

for the questions I ask–

I am irrelevant

when you question me back.

 

The dream I believed in

was simply just that–

a ridiculous notion

that is not sought out.

Balance

You are my best.
Each side of me is less,
without the balance of you.
This is sad, but true.
Our hearts are not wanting
comfortless mornings, nor
to be lost beneath moons.
Soon, the numb will last longer.
Loss is less, when fonder,
as we are, but…
Oh, how do I miss you?
My heart breaks, jagged,
cracked and ragged.
There is no mending it.
At least, we are both missed.
One on each end, striving.
I do believe in being whole
and I thank you for that.

My Last Day

Five months. That’s how long it has been since I’ve seen her. My mother, the giver of life, who has given me no life, but one I wish to never look back on. My birthday was last month, and at thirteen, my heart hurts, but I can’t express it to anyone adequately. I didn’t get a card or a call; I heard no murmur from that end of town. It seems that she’s forgotten my entire existence in less than six months. She’s mad at me for leaving, as if my attempted suicide and subsequent removal from her life were my fault. I’m to be blamed for all of her hurt, so that she may forever play the professional victim.

The first day was the hardest, my arms were raw and my throat was swollen. Suicide was not anything I’d looked into before, I said no goodbyes, and I was not prepared. I didn’t know I wanted to die, I just needed something to change, some sort of end to the means that she had created for me.

I began like I had before, with a dull knife that I found in her end of our travel trailer. Grating against my wrist with the knife resulted in a scrape similar to that you’d get from a tree branch. She had locked me in for the night and disappeared to the north end of town, and I was stuck. Our fight from that evening clouded my thoughts with anger and disillusionment, I still can’t remember what started it.

There were so many arguments and screaming matches between us by the time I turned twelve, I finally believed her when she said she didn’t love me the last time. My father already told me he hated me and my grandfather had proven I was worth only the worst kind of comfort, there was no hope for me to have any kind of family.

With the guidance of my adolescent rage, I punched the window by my bench-seat turned bed. I used a broken shard to slit my wrists. Obviously, I had no concept of how the vascular system works, because I’m sitting here, writing this. Blood made the glass hard to grasp, but I was determined. I made shallow cuts, horizontally, up and down my forearms, then I cut my throat. I passed out after that, either from pain or blood loss, I’m not sure which.

My alarm for school woke me up the next morning, filling my stomach to the brim with dread. Reflexively, I turned the blaring alarm off, not yet realizing how much pain I was in. My mother had come home at some point, drunk, high, or both and fell asleep without checking on me. If she had, maybe she would have reacted, or maybe she did see me but couldn’t bring herself to do anything. I really can’t say if either is more harmful than the other.

My clothes were sticky, my blood had clotted overnight and so each of my raw cuts had adhered to the cloth. Showering was my only option, I had to go to school and try to hide what I did from her, I couldn’t handle her calling me stupid for hurting myself again. I haven’t consciously attempted to end my life since this, because of the nightmares I still have from watching myself pull my skin off to remove my shirt and pants. Turning the water on as hot as I could scalded me, but that pain was soothing in a way that the pain I had caused myself was not.

I found one of my mother’s ex-boyfriend’s hoodies to cover up with, I had no bandages and so the loose material rubbed against my wounds every time the school bus hit a bump. As soon as I got to school, my best friend from early childhood found me, I don’t know why she was there at that moment, but I’m glad for it. She knew something was wrong without me having to say a word, and a painful hug led me to drop my sweater, to show her exactly what I had done to myself the night before. She and another friend took me directly to the school counselor’s office and the police were called. I was driven nearly an hour away, and now, pictures of my raw body are hidden in some filing cabinet filled with closed cases.

Most of the next few weeks are still a blur. I was placed in a temporary foster home because there were no open families in my small town. I stayed with them for a month while the friend who found me rallied her parents to foster me. They went above and beyond to acquire me, throwing me a birthday party as a celebration for the process being done and over with. I was in limbo from October 10th until mid-February. They were my home for nearly two years, but that’s another story.

When I wrote the entry at the beginning of this essay, five months seemed like a long time, then I went two years without seeing my mother, once that went badly it took five years for me to go and talk to her again. After another bad experience I waited until this last year to contact her.

My recent trip was entirely surreal. Everything was exactly how I remember it, with a pervasive scent of mildew adding to the decor. My childhood dog was a living skeleton, tied up to a tree outside. My mother made me chicken and dumplings, the only meal she had cooked for me when I was a child. She asked me to come home over and over again, as if the last decade hadn’t happened and I was still the blonde little girl she once loved.

I still miss my mother and I do so wish that I could go home to something that is more than just a figment of my imagination.

Artemis and Apollo

Thick branches
create a frame,
stark against
silver landscapes.
The sun left,
tinging the sky
dark, with few lights.
The moon has gone again
to reflect stars, only,
on a pond’s surface.
Sturdy bodies work upwards,
breaking the tension,
to destroy small reflections–
the symphony peaks.
Stories of sun chasing moon
find their way across lips,
tales of love unrequited.
The moon disappeared,
from our view this evening,
because she has nearly
caught up to the sun.
What most don’t know:
the sun is her twin-
this is their game,
and they won long ago.